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The Multifaceted Moral Man: Morality and Free Will in Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange

By Lina Zhang, V Form

The Multifaceted Moral Man: Morality and Free Will in Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange

“And what, brothers, I had to escape into sleep from then was the horrible and wrong feeling that it was better to get the hit than give it. If that veck had stayed I might even have like presented the other cheek” (Burgess).

Anthony Burgess’ most famous novel, A Clockwork Orange, debates the essence of morality and the role of free will in achieving the moral man. Through following the imprisonment and release of the novel’s antihero, Alex, the story exposes the flaws and consequences of three different understandings of morality and the importance of free will. Alex’s first significant improvement occurs under the influence of Ludovico’s Treatment, where he finds himself both unable to sin and find pleasure. He then receives a version of liberty by F. Alexander, only to realize that absolute freedom is hypocritical and can only be theoretical. Ultimately, Alex comes to a natural maturation and adopts a morality devoid of any outside influences or expectations. Through providing sharp contrasts between the ideals and realities of morality, Burgess expands on the shortcomings of all three systems of thought while making a consistent strong argument in favor of the individual free will. 


The Causes and Symptoms of Lung Cancer and the Treatments of the Two Main Types of Lung Cancer

By Brillon Joseph, V Form

The Causes and Symptoms of Lung Cancer and the Treatments of the Two Main Types of Lung Cancer


Choi, Clark, and Douglas (2012) state that “cancer is not a single disease but includes many different diseases. In cancer cells, mutations modify cell-cycle control and cells don’t stop growing as they normally would” (p 452). Cancer is a result of gene mutations in the cells that make up the tissues and organs of the human body. When normal cells undergo gene mutations, this can be a result of inheritance, aging, or damage to genes by factors such as radiation. These mutated cells form cancer cells, which grow and divide uncontrollably. Cancer has been a very prominent epidemic in the world in recent years. Every day, more and more people are diagnosed with cancer and suffer from the fatal effects of this disease. Statistics show that in 2018 alone, there were approximately 18 million new diagnoses of cancer and 9.6 million cancer-related deaths worldwide. One of the most common types of cancer is lung cancer. There are several types of lung cancer that involve different causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

What Is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer worldwide. According to the World Cancer Research fund, lung cancer constituted 12.3% of all new cases of cancer diagnosed in 2018. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that lung cancer is a medical condition that leads to cells in the lungs dividing uncontrollably. This causes tumors to grow and thus reduce a person’s ability to breathe (Nall 2018). When cells in the lungs are abnormal, they do not carry out the necessary functions as efficiently as a normal cell would. As these abnormal cells continue to grow and divide in an uncontrollable manner, they form tumors. Consequently, these tumors may impact the individual’s ability to breathe properly. Lung cancer can be broadly classified into Small-Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) or Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). “This classification is based upon the microscopic appearance of the tumor cells themselves, specifically the size of the cells” (Stöppler [date unknown]). The two types of lung cancer also differ in terms of spread, growth, aggression and applicable treatments.


HER(short)story: Silenced Women in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Stories

By Grace Kingsbury, VI Form

HER(short)story: Silenced Women in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Stories

Chimamanda Adichie’s book of short stories, The Thing Around Your Neck, follows African men and women and attempts to explain the ties between the genders. The short story “Jumping Monkey Hill” describes the conflict that a Nigerian writer, Ujunwa, faces during a writing retreat in Cape Town. The head of the writing retreat, Edward, repeatedly ogles her body and makes sexual comments to Ujunwa such as “I’d rather like you to lay down for me” (Adichie 106). The story “The Thing Around Your Neck” depicts a woman who receives a visa to live in American with her uncle. Her uncle sexually assaults her during her stay with him, so she runs away for a fresh start in Connecticut. Besides the obvious gender and race similarities between these two main characters, both women are sexually harassed in their stories. Adichie’s normalization of sexual harassment in “Jumping Monkey Hill” and “The Thing Around Your Neck” reflects the existing culture of silencing women through the unresponsive and accepting women, the bystanders, and Adichie’s cursory acknowledgment of the events.

By creating characters that do not respond to sexual harassment, Adichie demonstrates how women minimize their assault to ignore it more easily. Ujunwa in “Jumping Monkey Hill” “laugh[s]” in response to Edward’s comment “because it was funny and witty… when [one] really thought about it” (Adichie 106). She convinces herself that it is funny to diminish the pain that his comment causes her. In “The Thing Around Your Neck,” the woman “lock[s] [herself] in the bathroom closet, and the next morning” she runs away from home, in response to her uncle’s assault (Adichie 116). This represents the woman physically running away from confrontation with her uncle by putting as much distance between her and the event as possible and refusing to stand up for herself. In both of these instances, the women avoid the conflict of sexual harassment by opting to ignore the problem. By ignoring sexual harassment and sexual assault, the women facilitate further offense because they give their abusers room to repeat their actions.


Malcolm, Martin, and Mookie: American Dreaming in Do the Right Thing

By Mr. Jason Eslick, English Faculty

Malcolm, Martin, and Mookie: American Dreaming in Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee’s 1989 film Do the Right Thing can be read as a realistic study of American Dreaming. Through its depiction of the hottest day of the year in a Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, the film argues that the American Dream ceases to provide meaning if it is seen as limited only to a privileged set of the American population, and that this trend becomes markedly clear when discussing American concepts of race and class. As James Baldwin writes: “…we Americans, of whatever color, do not dare examine [the American Dream] and are far from having made it a reality. There are too many things we do not wish to know about ourselves” (Baldwin)

This reluctance or inability to adequately explore and examine the American Dream is arguably part of Do the Right Thing’s social force, and the film’s conclusion underscores what is at stake in confronting it. Do the Right Thing allows the viewer to examine the questions of racial privilege that underpin the film’s conflicts.  At the end, however, we are not sure what “Right” means, as the darker aspects of a cultural reality cause a crisis of definition. As Jim Cullen notes about the American Dream, “…ambiguity is the very source of its mythic power, nowhere more so than among those striving for, but unsure whether they will reach, their goals” (Cullen). Indeed, the things that Baldwin implies we do not wish to recognize about ourselves as a community and as a country become laid bare.


Reflections on Coates’ Education in Between the World and Me

By Daniella Pozo, IV Form

Reflections on Coates’ Education in Between the World and Me

When one has never been exposed to the world at large, ignorance can be an easy trap to fall into. Ta-Nehisi Coates takes the difficult steps to awaken himself, learn about his place in the world, and overcome his ignorance. Samori Coates is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s son whom he had with Kenyatta Matthews, a girl he met at The Mecca. The Mecca is the coalition of brilliant black individuals at Howard University where Coates studied for a number of years. Here, Coates experienced three life-changing events: he had a son, he read as many books as he could get his hands on, and he interacted with black people who are different from him. In the memoir Between the World and Me, Coates embarks on a journey of self-growth with the help of Samori Coates and The Mecca showing him compassion and diversity within the black community, as well as forcing him to question his perception of the world. His reflection on this journey invites each reader to contemplate his/her own viewpoint.


Conservation and Sustainability on the Island of Nantucket: A Study Funded by The Matthews Grant

By Alie Hyland and Sam Leslie, VI Form

Conservation and Sustainability on the Island of Nantucket: A Study Funded by The Matthews Grant

Editor’s Note: The Matthews Fund provides grants to students of any form who are good citizens and solid students. Awards are based on merit and need as determined by a faculty committee. No awards will be given for athletic purposes. Grants are made for special needs such as tutoring assistance, special instruction, seminars, academic experiences of a national or international nature, and personal growth and advancement opportunities.


Our grant was focused on studying small island conservation and sustainability, and we chose Nantucket since it is close to St. Mark’s and because many students, faculty, and alumni have ties to the island.  We stayed on the island for one week in June of 2019 and biked to various locations around the island including the Sconset bluffs, the Bartlett Farm, and the town center. Thanks to the Matthews Grant, we were able to explore a passion that we might not have had the opportunity to research otherwise.  This paper shows our findings from the trip and includes pictures from our research.